Archery coach Ravi Shankar is the first in India to get a doctorate from OU for his research on how yoga and acupuncture enhance the performance of archers

It is a unique first by this Hyderabadi. Forty-eight-year-old Pallela Ravi Shankar, archery coach of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh, happens to be the first one in India to get a Doctorate from Osmania University for his research on how yoga and acupuncture enhance the performance of archers.

Ravi, who travels everyday from the city to the AP Sports School at Hakimpet where is working on deputation, says the whole objective is to educate sportspersons about ways and means other than taking performance enhancing drugs to come up with better results.

90 samples

What exactly is the research? “I took 90 samples (archers) and split them into three batches of 30 each with one as control group which only did archery, another yogasanas and the third acupuncture treatment,” the coach explained.

The pre and the post-research tests spread over a period of 12 weeks revealed that archers who relied on yoga and acupuncture had better hand-eye coordination and a much better performance sheet.

“To put it simply, yoga and acupuncture helped archers fine tune their body to near perfection for the competition even while enhancing the energy levels,” Ravi pointed out.

“In future I am planning to take up similar research in other disciplines to ensure that the young talent is not lured by steroids,” says Ravi who has so far produced 100 national medallists, eight internationals besides an Asian champion in Isaiah R. Sanam. Interestingly, Ravi himself was a three-time national archer with no medals.

“This is exactly the reason why I am keen on producing champions. I want to see the joy in my trainees which I did not experience,” he signs off.

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